And these are PROFESSIONALS?

January 21, 2008 | Keith Melchior

You’d think PROFESSIONAL football players would watch film and really take notice of some of the stupid things that happen on the field and work hard to consciously make sure those stupid mistakes don’t happen to them.  Why do they try to be heroes? Why, ESPN of course. When you are on ESPN highlight shows, your name is out there for everyone to see. Shoe contracts, commercials, and prestige abounds when the advertisers know who you are. Pro football has evolved into more of a “me” league than a team game. You see it every week.

Last year, I recall watching the San Diego Chargers melt down in the final two minutes of their divisional playoff game against New England. The reason? Facing a 4th and game over play, Tom Brady throws an interception. All the Chargers’ D-back has to do is fall down and after 3 kneeldowns the Chargers would face the Colts at home in the AFC Championship game. But no, he decides to try to be a hero and run with the ball and as fate has it, he fumbles the ball away to New England. Tom Brady throws a TD pass and the game is over. San Diego fires the head coach later on.

Take into consideration the scenario from last year’s game as I just mentioned above. The same thing happens yesterday, not once , but THREE times.

Early game: Brady throws an interception in the end zone and a Charger D-back chooses to be a hero and try to run the ball out instead of settling for the touchback. He is tackled at the 4 yard line. The Chargers got as far as I believe the 15 but a holding call (you KNEW that was going to happen)  puts them at 4th and forever from the 7. They punt, Brady gets the ball back and a few plays later the score is 21-12 and the game is pretty much over for San Diego.  Not to say Rivers would have moved the ball further downfield, but you can’t put your team in dire straits just for the sole purpose of being deemed a hero. Giving New England the ball on your side of the field is potential poison. Look out Norv.

Late game. There were at least 2 cases of dum-dum plays. (not counting Brett Favre’s disasters)

Case one: Koren Robinson tries to field a kickoff by reaching for the ball instead of letting it bounce out of bounds or up to him. He muffs it and the Packers end up losing about 5 or 6 yards on the play. Case two: I think the score was tied at the time and either Favre threw an interception or there was a punt, a Giant runs the ball back and is stripped. Three Packers are close by and one tries to pick it up and run with it instead of falling on it and trying to secure possession and a chance to win the game. Well, the Giants regain possession and have a chance to win in regulation time. The rest is history

Now we’re stuck watching the Giants/Patriots 2 and this time the Patriots are a 13 point favorite. People will look at the last game and figure the Giants will cover and all the money will come on on the Giants.  New England then wins in a blowout and Las Vegas builds 5 more hotel/casinos with the profits..

Are you ready for the 6 hour pregame show? Tune into ESPN and I bet you the 13 day pregame show has already started.